Holidays can be a crazy for time for many of us, especially if you are hosting family members. Perhaps you remember everyone gathering at your parents’ house when you were growing up, and now the mantle of responsibility falls on you—how do you prepare for hosting elderly relatives? We have some tips!
Firstly, make sure your home is clean and free of clutter before anyone comes to stay, young or old. Vacuuming every floor and picking up toys or other small items is a good place to start.
Re-Arrange the Furniture
Think about your furniture with clear walkways. If there isn’t much room to squeeze around the couches, beds, or tables, consider re-arranging things so that there are wider spaces. This is especially true if your elderly relative uses a cane or walker.
Think About Stability
You most likely don’t have elderly safety features like grab-bars, but you can arrange furniture in such a way that there is easy access to backs of sofas or chairs for elderly relatives to stabilize themselves if needed.
Make Sure Your Home Has Good Lighting
Older people have a harder time seeing clearly, along with not moving as quickly. If your home has spaces that are dimly lit, consider opening blinds or curtains, and install better lighting so that the floors, rugs, and hallways are easy to see and navigate.
Provide an Entryway to “Unload”
If your home has an entryway, consider putting a small bench or table there to make it easier for your guests to come in, place any shopping or other items, and even breathe a moment before unpacking and moving into the rest of the house. Any elderly relative will be most grateful for this addition!
If your home has a lot of hard flooring, consider rugs that have rubber backs. Not only does it feel nice under cold feet, but also makes walking around your house much safer. You could also place traction stickers in the bathtub. Just make sure that any rugs you do have don’t slip or slide easily!
Ground Floor Accommodations
If at all possible, house elderly guests on a ground floor. Climbing stairs can be stressful for elderly people and even puts them at risk of injury. Even if you don’t have a bedroom on the ground floor, there may be a place that would be suitable for a daybed or other area they could sleep.
Personal Heat Control
We often get colder as we age, so having areas in your home with lap blankets, space heaters and comfy socks, will be a blessing to your senior guests. You can avoid running heat in the entire house if you can make certain smaller areas warmer and more comfortable.
One Comfy Spot
Finally, place a comfy chair in a central location that is designated for your elderly house guest to enjoy all the family and activities from. If they can get settled and not have to be up and down all the time, it will greatly improve their ability to just enjoy watching everything.
Holidays can be a crazy time for families coming together, but these tips can go a long way in making sure the senior relatives in your life have a comfortable experience in your home. Enjoy the time to celebrate Christmas with them!
For more tips on hosting senior relatives through the holidays, contact us today!
Home Helpers of San Rafael is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, personal care, companion care, respite care, 24-hour live-in care, Alzheimer's & dementia care, Parkinson's care as well as homemaker services in San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Larkspur, Tiburon, Corte Madera, Sausalito, Belvedere, Ross, and Greenbrae, California.
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